Removing a Case to Federal Court: Navigating Substantive and Procedural Requirements, Pleadings, Motion Practice, and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will discuss what litigators need to know about removal of a case to federal court or remand of a case to state court. The program will discuss advantages of removal, procedural requirements, effect on other pleadings, litigation strategy, motion practice, and remand back to state court.


Motions for removal of a case from federal court to state court are both a weapon for defense counsel and a trap for the unwary.

Federal court offers perceived advantages for defendants: avoidance of out-of-state bias, enhanced federal procedural rules, or consolidation of mass litigation through the multi-district litigation procedures.

Federal district courts disfavor removal and will strictly analyze removal motions. Counsel must be able to analyze the potential bases for removal in a complaint and be proficient in the procedural requirements for removal. A failure to comply will result in the remand of the case back to state court and the potential for imposition of sanctions.

Listen as our panel of litigators discusses the procedural and substantive requirements to remove a case from state to federal court. The panel will look at the advantages of removal, procedural requirements, impact on other pleadings, litigation strategy, motion practice and remand back to state court.


  1. Advantages and disadvantages of removing a case to federal court
  2. Requirements for removing a case to federal court
    1. Deadline for removal
    2. Where to remove
    3. Other procedural requirements
  3. Common bases for removal
  4. Impact on other pleadings
    1. Supplemental jurisdiction over state-based claims
  5. Strategy
  6. Remand and sanctions


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What procedural advantages does federal court offer defendants that would make litigating in federal court advantageous?
  • What are the procedural requirements defendants must meet to successfully remove the case to federal court?
  • Under what circumstances may sanctions be imposed on a defendant whose removal petition is unsuccessful?


Stephen Paffrath
Greenberg Traurig, Sacramento, Calif.

Mr. Paffrath has over 20 years of litigation experience. He has represented a wide variety of clients including financial institutions, manufacturers, local and state government entities, charities, and individuals in a wide variety of complex litigation involving class actions, trade secrets, computer fraud, products liability, banking regulation, unfair competition, employment discrimination, financial elder abuse, and proceedings before administrative agencies. His concentrations include, commercial litigation, class action litigation, financial services litigation, government litigation, products liability, trade secrets and constitutional law.

Michael D. Lane
Greenberg Traurig, Sacramento, Calif.

Mr. Lane has deep litigation experience in state, federal and administrative courts. He has represented clients in many class action and single-plaintiff litigation cases involving contracts, labor and employment, intellectual property, unfair competition and regulatory matters. He has also handled intellectual property litigation, where he represented clients in both state and federal courts. His areas of concentration include commercial litigation, complex litigation, trade secrets/unfair competition/employee mobility, contract disputes/business torts, labor and employment, franchise law, products liability, class action, and intellectual property litigation.

Randi J. Winter, Atty
Felhaber Larson, Minneapolis

Ms. Winter practices commercial and employment litigation. In addition, she represents clients with respect to utility, employee benefits, health law, and labor matters. She has represented clients before the Minnesota District and Appellate Courts, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal District Courts, United States Tax Court, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Minnesota Department of Labor, and in labor arbitrations, among others. 


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Locks Law Firm

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Litigation Advisory Board

David R. Cohen


Reed Smith

Jeffrey J. Fowler


O’Melveny & Myers

Jonathan Evan Goldberg



Mark E. Goodman


Capes Sokol Goodman & Sarachan

Dean D. Hunt


Baker & Hostetler

Michael E. Lackey, Jr.


Mayer Brown

Stephen Paffrath


Greenberg Traurig

Anthony T. Pierce


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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